Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Giant Metal Chickens and Gettysburg

(Warning: You are going to need more than 5 minutes to read this. Fortunately, the trip was so good, it's going to have to be split into multiple posts. This is a brief summation of the first three days from my point of view.)

Well, my mom was right. You can't please all of the people all of the time. *SIGH*  Maybe I need to start putting parental warnings on my blog updates.

Since I only had one comment on the banana post and it was that basically I was oversharing, I guess I will move on and talk about our trip to Gettysburgh. Which would not have been complete without the requisite giant metal chicken:

I had been told about this awesome huge metal chicken, so I was all eyes looking for the lawn ornament store.

Justin had gone up to Gettysburgh on several occasions over the past months to map out the drive route for the car club meet (he has a Honda S2000 convertible and is the president of his chapter of the Honda S2KCA club) and had passed the chicken several times on Chambersburg Road. Knowing my love of all things metal chicken, he had told me that there was a huge one sitting on the side of the road on the drive up. I, of course, needed to add it to my metal chicken photo collection that I am keeping in the hope that one day I will put them all together into a coffee table book that makes us rich enough that Justin will no longer have to work. (I might be a bit optimistic with this plan.)

The metal chicken, which did not appear to have a price tag, unfortunately would never have fit into this:

Justin had that trunk packed to the brim (I didn't overpack - really!) and it wouldn't have held that chicken's foot. I would have happily offered to give it my seat on the passenger side and have Justin come back for me, but it was too big! In order to buy this chicken, we will need to go back with a pickup truck. Anyone have a pickup truck? I think we need a large metal chicken. Just think of the variety of places I could put it and how much I could prank my neighbors.


We got up to Gettysburg on Thursday, only to discover that since Justin had not been one of the first to book us a room at the hotel, we were in a room with two double beds. I don't know about you guys, but sharing a double bed for me is seriously not. an. option. I said to him when we walked into the room, "Um, honey, did you ask for a king room because I think these are double beds."

Justin: I think they're queen size.

Me: Um, okay.

(I never pick a fight when we are staying in a hotel with room service.)

We tried it the first night and after about an hour, when he rolled onto his back and flung the covers over onto the floor on my side, I was all, "I am so getting into the other bed." When I finally woke up on Friday, he said, "Why did you get into the other bed?" I just pointed at the covers lying on the floor and said, "Honey, I think these really are double beds." He promised to book a king room next year.

Because of the fibro, I decided to pace myself by spending Friday afternoon with three of the wives from the club doing something that I do well. Shopping. I do not do shopping as well as I do lazy, but it's a close second. Justin and the guys had decided to go out and run the route one more time before the actual drive on Saturday to work out any kinks. He made the mistake of saying, "Go out with the girls and have a good time." And forgot to take away my credit cards. Silly husband. Had he forgotten from the trip two years ago that there was a trolley and an outlet mall? Who needs a car to spend a couple hundred bucks?

This trip was good for more than one thing, because I discovered that I can actually shower and get ready to go in a half hour when someone is saying, "You have fifteen minutes; you have ten minutes; you have five minutes; you are going to miss the trolley!" This is handy information to have. My hair definitely suffered, but since I didn't know these women I was meeting, I figured they would just assume I was always that unkempt and leave it at that.

I already knew that car club wives were lots of fun and, since it was only 3 women, I managed to hold off the panic and force myself to meet them in the lobby.  When I realized I hadn't put on deodorant and, after running into the Giant where we were waiting for the trolley, they covered me while I applied it, I knew I was going to be okay for this trip. Turns out, they were marathon shoppers and I knew I was in trouble when I saw the Old Navy outlet. Realizing I had a zero balance on my Old Navy credit card, we immediately found a way to have fun. Then, I discovered the Zales outlet and knew I was in big trouble. (More about why I needed jewelry that my husband didn't buy in another post.)

By the time we were headed back, I was texting Justin obscene messages, begging for forgiveness and offering to make it up to him in ways I can't share. Buyer's remorse sets in so fast after the shopping high wears off.

Did I say buyer's remorse? Um, okay. I am. not. sorry. I saved him the shipping on that necklace that I would have paid if I had ordered it online because I hate to go to the mall. Until I actually get to the mall, where there are lots of places with pretty things where the sales women are really nice to me when they figure out I have several lines of open credit.

So, Friday was lots of fun. I got to go do something I enjoyed with some really nice women and then go back to the hotel and watch The Two Towers on cable while half-napping on my very own double bed and raiding the gourmet chocolate I had bought at Harry and David. Friday night, we had a pizza party during registration for the meet and I only had one panic attack where I had to go sit in the ladies' room, hyperventilating and texting my best friend that I was at a table by myself and didn't know anybody. The first day of any group situation can really freak you out when you have severe social anxiety.

Saturday morning was the official drive and I had already told Justin, "I am not riding in that thing for two and a half hours with the top down and you guys revving your engines and taking turns sideways." Justin, being the understanding guy that he is, got his group of 12 cars together at 8:30 and peeled out of the parking lot for the event. I slept in and went to lunch with another very nice woman from the group who also thought the drive didn't sound like a whole lot of fun because she gets carsick in her husband's S. I wasn't sure how she made it all the way up from South Carolina, but then she told me about Dramamine and everything made sense again.

Okay, yeah, they went through the battlefield and I missed out on that, but we were going to the battlefield on Sunday anyway. I went to lunch on Lincoln Square. (Again on the really cool trolley. I should have gotten a picture, but I didn't want to carry the camera in my purse, which weighed 19 pounds already.)

Saturday night was the banquet which was at one of the buildings (now a B&B) that was there during the battle in 1863. How cool is it to know that you in a room that might have been used as a hospital? You can smell the "old" when you walk in. If you ever get to Gettysburg, I highly recommend Herr Ridge for dinner at least one night. The atmosphere is amazing, the food is fantastic, and you can check out the different period rooms (which I unfortunately didn't think to do, but Justin tells me are beautiful).

After the banquet, we had the ghost walk. Which turned out to have an actual ghost on it!

I know, it's hard to see. Well, everything except the round white orb to the left of the flag at the top of the picture. Which had to be a ghost, because it wasn't there when I snapped the shot. The two round lights in the bottom half of the pic were there. The round, eerily white orb is not the moon. The moon was behind us.

The story goes that this cupola, of which you can really only see the flag up top because it was so dark, is haunted by a Confederate soldier who paces back and forth keeping watch on the Union troops. Well, apparently something is still keeping watch because the ghost tour guide looked at my digital shot and said "Yep. Good one." You know you've got something when the tour guide is applauding your efforts. The ghost tour was, for me, the funnest activity even though it poured rain off and on. I love the stories of all of the different ghosts of Gettysburg. This tour was given by Mark Nesbitt's group, which is the premier, paranormal, author of the "Ghosts of Gettysburg" tour group.

Did you know that Gettysburg College is haunted? That building where I got the ghost picture has an elevator that goes back in time to the battle and opens onto a surgeon looking for nursing assistance. Here's the building from the front:

Spooky, right? There's a reason they give those tours at night!

(Tomorrow - our very own Apple iPad advertisement that made me realize I need an iPad desperately and our tour of the battlefield on Sunday.)



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